MOUNT VERNON - A second Mount Vernon doctor has reliquinshed his ability to prescribe certain narcotics, according to Rich Isaccson, public information officer for the Detroit office of the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Dr. William F. Pomputius Jr., 74, of Mount Vernon, voluntarily surrendered a portion of his Drug Enforcement Agency license to prescribe Schedule II and Schedule III narcotics last week after being questioned by Detective Craig Feeney of the Mount Vernon Police Department and a DEA agent. The MVPD initiated the investigation.
On Thursday, Dr. Antonio Mortera surrendered his license to handle or prescribe any narcotics.
Pomputius serves as the physician for the Knox County Jail. Although his license to practice medicine remains intact, his position with the jail is being examined.
“Myself and my jail administrator, [Lt. Penny Lamp], are dealing with the situation involving Dr. Pomputius and its potential impact as the county jail’s physician. I consider this a personnel matter and at this time I feel it is inappropriate to make any further comment,” said Knox County Sheriff David Barber in a voice mail message Tuesday night.
Feeney said Tuesday that the two doctors once shared a medical practice before Pomputius left to work solely for the county.
Pomputius told the News this morning he has not written prescriptions for such narcotics since he left the pain medicine practice with Mortera in February. In fact, he said, no prescriptions are written for narcotics at the jail.
“Schedule IV and Schedule V drugs are the only things I would give,” he said.
Schedule II and III include narcotics such as Dilaudid, Vicodin, Oxycodone and Codeine, among others. Schedule IV and V drugs have a lower potential for abuse than Schedules II and III.
A new DEA registration was provided to Pomputius that reflects the changes in his practice.
“A new card was issued that redefined the practice area,” Pomputius said. “It covers the medicines I would prescribe at the jail. It’s the same number, but it’s a new card to redefine the address as the jail.”
?Surrendering of any or all parts of a DEA license in no way affects the phycian’s ability to practice medicine, Isaccson said.
Mortera is at a loss as to what will happen to his patients and his practice since he surrendered his DEA card last week.
“Patients are calling, but I can’t do anything,” Mortera told the News this morning. “They said I was prescribing too many of these drugs. They asked if people were driving in from out of the county, weren’t they drug seekers?”
Practicing pain management for about seven years in Mount Vernon, Mortera said his patients had legitimate needs for the drugs he prescribed. Many of them have had several back or hip surgeries that failed to relieve their pain, and some were amputees suffering from phantom pains, he said.
“I do have patients that drive from Mansfield or Bowling Green. They need proper medicine to relieve pain enough to take care of themselves,” he said.
Mortera’s practice was investigated as part of a drug diversion and pharmaceutical investigation conducted by the MVPD. According to Feeney, Mortera voluntarily surrendered his license during a meeting with MVPD and a DEA agent.
“The government thinks I’m prescribing too many controlled substances like opiates,” Mortera said. “There is no one to help these patients, and few doctors will help because of fears the DEA will take away their card - just like what happened to me.”
Pomputius graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 1960. He has held a license to practice medicine in Ohio since 1977. He is a board certified pathologist and has practiced medicine for 40 years, 18 years in Knox County.
No charges have been filed in either case. The DEA considers both cases to be closed. Feeney was unable to be reached for comment.